9 Things Professors Need To Improve On

9 Thing Professors Need To Improve On

Even professors make mistakes.


I have been in college for four years. During this time, I have observed some amazing teaching strategies and some not-so-amazing ones.

These are nine things professors do that need improvement.

1. Regulating when students can use the bathroom.

I really didn't think I would have this issue in college. I mean, we're adults now. I understand that constant moving in and out of the classroom can be distracting, but regulating when we can go to the bathroom is a little too extreme. I have had some professors who had this rule listed in the syllabus but never actually followed through with it.

I think a happy midway solution for this problem is to regulate how often the student in question is leaving the classroom. Each time the students leave the room, they are missing information that could help them succeed in the class. Leaving the room repeatedly is detrimental to their learning more so than just one interruption.

2. Having a confusing syllabus.

As students, we are going to be referring to the syllabus all semester long - and told by our professors to do so before asking questions. Our grade is heavily impacted by our ability to understand this document. A proper syllabus should be concise and readable, not wordy and filled with dense information.

3. Requiring pricy textbooks. 

I understand that sometimes classes, unfortunately, require really expensive textbooks in order for students to learn the material required for the class. However, professors should go out of their way to not assign expensive books. Professors should always be aware of the price of the books they make a student buy.

4. Giving busywork.

Busywork is not why I am in college pursuing a degree. Busywork is something given to grade-school students to keep them quiet for the day. When I am sitting in a college classroom, I expect to be learning new concepts and perspectives every day. Busywork is not productive and does not cultivate a good learning environment.

5. Emails.

Emails are an important communication tool for both professors and students. But I have had many professors who just don't use their email as they should. Sometimes, like with online classes, an email is the only form of communication between student and professor. If a professor ignores a student's email, the student may complete an assignment wrong and therefore get a lower grade in the class, as opposed to the professor answering the students emailed question before the assignment was due.

6. Giving illogical lectures.

I know this sounds weird, but sometimes my professors just don't make sense. One minute my professor can be talking about Plato and Socrates and the next minute, the class is getting an in-depth recount of the professor's life on a farm. I kid you not, this actually happened in one of my classes. The professor spent the rest of the 45-minute class talking about his childhood. I still don't know what we were supposed to learn that day.

7. Canceling class inconsistently without notice.

I understand professors are human and sometimes circumstances arise that stop their ability to have class, causing them to cancel right before class starts. I understand this and I try not to get upset if a professor unexpectedly cancels. However, if a professor is constantly canceling class last minute, then I have a little less patience. As a commuter, I have to drive to campus every day. If one of my classes is canceled unexpectedly, it can really mess up my schedule for the rest of the day, especially if it was my only class for the day.

8. Not allowing eating in class.

I understand this rule to an extent as well. Sometimes someone may bring in food that is sort of smelly or has loud packaging. This can distract the students and the professor. But sometimes our schedules require that we eat in classes. Back-to-back classes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. require some kind of food consumption to keep the students alert and healthy.

9. Handing back work to be revised without telling us how to make it better.

I have had this happen too many times. How can I revise something for a higher grade if the professor did not explicitly mark what was wrong in the first place?

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.

College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.


Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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